DO NOT JUDGE OTHERS IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO BE JUDGED IN RETURN. HE THAT IS WITHOUT SIN, LET HIM BE THE FIRST TO CAST A STONE
11. Judge not; that ye be not judged. For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured unto you again (Matthew, 7:1 & 2).
12. And the scribes and the Pharisees brought unto Him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst; they say unto Him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act Now Moses in the Law commanded us that such should be stoned; but what sayest Thou? This they said, tempting Him, that they might have to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down, and with His fingers wrote on the ground, as though He heard them not So when they continued asking Him, He lifted up Himself and said unto them, he that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again He stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it being convicted by their own consciences, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest; even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst When Jesus had lifted up Himself and saw none but the woman, He said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more (John, 8: 3-11).
13. With the sentence: "He that is without sin amongst you, let him cast the first stone," Jesus makes indulgence the first duty towards others because there is no one who does not need it for themself. He also teaches that we must never judge others with more severity than we would wish to be judged, nor condemn in others that which we condone in ourselves. Before chastising someone for a fault, first let us see if that same censure could be applied to ourself.
Reproach may be launched against a person for two reasons: to suppress evil or to discredit the person whose acts are criticised. In this last intention there is absolutely no excuse, because here exists only malice and slander. The first may be laudable and even becomes a duty in certain cases as good may come of it, and without it the evil in society would never be restrained. Furthermore, is it not the duty of all mankind to help every fellow creature towards progress? Therefore it is important that the principle 'Do not judge others if you have no wish to be judged,' should not be taken literally as this could be destructive, whereas the spirit of these words gives life to the concept.
It is not possible that Jesus could have prohibited the overthrowing of evil, seeing that He gives examples of having done just that Himself, in no uncertain terms. What He wished to say was that the right to censure is to be found in the moral authority of he who censures. To become guilty of that which one is condemning in another person is to renounce this authority, so depriving oneself of the right to restrain.
Furthermore, our inner conscience denies respect and voluntary submission to any person who, having been invested with some kind of authority, violates the laws and principles of which they were put in charge. There is no legitimate authority in the eyes of God but that which is based on the examples of goodness it offers. Likewise, this is what is emphasized by the words of Jesus.